I’m about to talk up the date night in.
Because there’s a LOT of pressure on married couples to make sure they’re getting out on a date together at least once a week. But I’ll be the first to say that you don’t need a weekly date night out. As much as I would love to do that, a weekly date night out has been nearly impossible with the demands of life, and budget, and three young children.
Frankly, getting out together sans kids on a weekly basis is just not happenin’ over here.
Not only that, but this is an unprecendented time in history with COVID-19, making a date night out actually impossible, not just nearly impossible.
But while we may not get a date night OUT, as a wife and a relationship counselor, I advocate for how important it is to carve out quality time and conversation and make it a part of your routine.
In my book, Choosing Marriage, I talk about the importance of this concept of connecting. In surveying over 1,000 married people to gather date for the book, it was revealed that the majority of them report having 30 minutes or LESS of quality conversation and connection during the entire WEEK!!! That’s just madness!!!! I discuss this in detail in one of the chapters, and share about how my husband John and I set aside a weekly “couch time” to connect. You can learn more about what that looks like, what we do, and why you need to do it on a regular basis in detail in this book.
But here’s what else we do to connect: a date night in. If you’re short on time, money, babysitters, energy, or are simply under social distancing restraints, be deliberate about carving out some time to connect in special ways.
Here are some of our favorite “date night in” ideas that I want to share with you:
Date Night In #1: Cook Up Some Love — Cooking a meal together.
You have to eat, right? So why not make a fun date night of it. Plan the meal together, and prepare the meal together. If you’re feeling adventurous, try something you normally wouldn’t try. If you’re short on time, throw a sweet treat together and enjoy over some good conversation.
Date Night In #2: Lovely Books — Read a book out loud.
There’s something romantic about reading together – curled up in each other’s arms. Find a book you’ve both been wanting to read, and take turns reading to one another in bed, or relaxed together on the sofa.
Date Night In #3: Everyone’s A Winner – Game Night
If you’re anything like me, you’ve had plenty of playing CandyLand and Chutes and Ladders with the kids, but when was the last time you actually played a game as a couple? Just the two of you? Here are some of our favorite date night games: Scattergories, Dutch Blitz, Mastermind, Settlers.
Date Night In #4: The More You Know – 20 Question Jar
There’s so much to learn about one another, no matter how long you’ve been married. Write out a list of questions to ask each other (some serious, some fun), cut them out, put them in a jar and take turns drawing a question to answer.
Date Night In #5: A Stroll Down Memory Lane – Old Videos and Photos
There’s nothing like watching old videos and looking through photos from the past to rekindle your love for one another. Take some time to go through some of your favorite memories together as a couple. We did this recently, and had a hard time ending the night because we just had so much fun enjoying the stroll down memory lane.
Date Night In #6: I’m Feelin’ It – Massage Night
Get some sweet smelling oil or lotion, and give each other back rubs, foot rubs, or any kind of rubs you’re in the mood for! If you’ve never done this before, it might help to google a couple how-to’s on the best way to give a good massage.But at the end of the day, almost any kind of rub is a good rub. So enjoy feeling close through the gift of touch.
Date Night In #7: Melt Your Heart – Fondue Night
You don’t need anything fancy for this date night in. Find a couple easy recipes online that you can use a slow cooker or crockpot to make. You can do cheese fondue (with breads, deli meats, and veggies to dip), or you can do chocolate fondue (slice up some strawberries and a pound cake). Or if you’re like me and food is your love language, you can do both! Enjoy a time of dipping, and chatting, as a special treat for your date night in.
Date Night In #8: Love You To The Moon And Back – Star Gazing
Grab a blanket to lay on, and one to snuggle under – and head outdoors on a warm summer night. We have a neat telescope that we like to get out on clear evenings, but if you don’t have any special equipment, we love to use an app called Sky Guide, to get a good “look” at the stars. It’s romantic, it’s easy, and it’s right in your backyard.
Date Night In #9: Bubbly Time – Take A Bath Together
Light some candles, open a box of chocolates, find some bubble bath, and soak together in the bathtub. You don’t have to wait for a luxury vacation to do this kind of thing when you can do it in your own home. It’s relaxing, and a great way to up the romance on the night.
Date Night In #10: Smokin’ Hot — Fire Pit And S’mores
I got a fire pit as a present a couple birthdays ago, and I think it’s one of the most used items in our backyard. We love it so much. Once the kids are in bed, grab some comfy chairs, take a couple steps outside, get a fire going, and snuggle up next to the fire. Add some marshmallows or s’mores, and you’ve got the recipe for a sweet evening together.
It doesn’t really matter what you do on date night, it just matters that you take the time to connect.
What are some of your favorite date night in ideas?
I’d love to add some more to our list!
Whether You’re Single, Married, or Engaged – There Are 8 Life-Changing You Can Make TODAY To Build a Better Marriage For Tomorrow. Find out what no one else is telling you, in Choosing Marriage: Why It Has To Start With WE > ME.
Debra Fileta is a Professional Counselor, national speaker, relationship expert, and author of True Love Dates: Your Indispensable Guide to Finding the Love of Your Life, and Choosing Marriage: Why It Has To Start With We > Me where she writes candidly about love, sex, dating, relationships, and marriage. You may also recognize her voice from her 200+ articles at Relevant Magazine, Crosswalk.com, and all over the web! She’s the creator of this True Love Dates Blog, reaching millions of people with the message that healthy people make healthy relationships! Connect with her on Facebook or Twitter or book a session with her today!